Clear Out Your Clutter—Hold a Class Auction

Want something fun to do as you wrap up the school year that also gets rid of clutter? Hold a class auction.  It will teach students to think about how they spend their money and give you a reason to finally clean out your closet.

Getting Ready

Take an hour or two and go through your room pulling out EVERYTHING that is outdated, unneeded, or has seen better days. Don’t hesitate to collect leftover art supplies, well-worn games, or that slightly frayed poster. Students are usually excited to bid on almost anything.

What to Auction off?

Are there class library books that have seen better days or on topics no one has been interested in five years?


What about class made projects, books, and posters? Why not let a student take them home instead of the trash man. Clear out old games, manipulatives, or educational charts that you haven’t used in years.  Remember the Common Core is coming.  What will you no longer be using? Bag up leftover crayons to auction off.


Even extra copies of worksheets can be seen as golden giveaways to your students.

Holding the Auction

Give each student 10-20 cubes, tiles, or counters.


This is there “money”.  With older students you may want to use play money and have someone else be the “bank” that collects payments and provides change.

Prior to starting, explain how an auction works.  Most children, especially the younger ones, will want to frantically bid all of their cubes on the first item or instantly raise the bid to the maximum amount. Teach them to only bid one or two counters at a time so they don’t “pay” more than they have to for an item.  Also, tell them it is sometimes best to hold out for an item you really want.

Once the directions are explained begin the bidding. Just like a real auction, hold up an item and say, “Who would like to bid on our class-made book on whales?” “Do I have 2 tiles? How about 3?” “Three tiles going, once, twice, sold to the student in the blue shirt.”  Talk like a real auctioneer would.

Hosting an auction is a wonderful way to clear out and clean up the classroom and a fun way to end the school year.

If you would like more information on this and other organizing topics check our newest book.  It shares common ways people get stuck when they try to organize and how to solve them.


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If you would like more organizing tips check out our book The Uncluttered Teacher.


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